recess radio program

05/12/06
Mother's Day
    by John Cech

Brief Sound Clip:

That's the Chicago Children's Choir from their lovely CD called Open Your Heart, which gathers together a group of songs from around the world. The one that you've been listening to takes its lyrics from a Robert Frost poem called, "The Pasture." Mother's Day celebrations may actually go back as far as the ancient Greek and Roman spring festivals for Rhea and Cybele, who were both mother goddess figures. Mothering Day in England during Lent was a holiday meant to be spent with one's mother.

In 1872, the American poet and social activist, Julia Ward Howe, who wrote "The Battle Hymn of the Republic," imagined a day honoring mothers as "agents of peace" in the aftermath of the Civil War. But the holiday really took hold forty years later through the work of Anna Jarvis who was seeking a way to pay tribute to her own and, ultimately, to all mothers. The idea proved to be so popular, and Ms. Jarvis and her friends such tireless advocates for it, that, in 1914, President Wilson declared Mother's Day a national holiday. But by the late 1920s, Ms. Jarvis was campaigning against the commercialization that had begun to take over this day of commemoration. She had something much deeper in mind -- like a heart-felt song. So mothers, on your day, let the Chicago Children's Choir sing for you while you sip your orange juice and drift with their music.

Brief Sound Clip:

Copyright 2006 John Cech

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"Recess!" is a co-production of the University of Florida's Center for Children's Literature and Culture and WUFT-FM, "Classic 89."